Linda McDonald

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Linda McDonald
Linda McDonald during her Phantom Blue days
Background information
Birth name Linda Ann McDonald
Also known as Nikki McBurrain (The Iron Maidens)
Brandy Castillo (The Little Dolls)
Origin Great Falls, Montana, U.S.
Genres Heavy metal, hard rock, tribute
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Drums
Years active 1989—present
Labels DRZ, Powerslave, Geffen, Roadrunner, Shrapnel
Associated acts The Iron Maidens, Phantom Blue, The Little Dolls, Crabby Patty (I'm So Unclear!), Unholy Pink, Valley Dolls, Carina Alfie, Meldrum
Website Linda McDonald on Myspace
Notable instruments
DW Drums
Paiste Cymbals

Linda McDonald is the drummer of the all-female tribute band The Iron Maidens (billed as the "World's Only Female Tribute to Iron Maiden"). In addition, she is a member of the Ozzy Osbourne tribute band The Little Dolls (billed as "All Female, All Ozzy, All The Time...Covering All Eras Of Ozzy") and the cover bands Valley Dolls, Crabby Patty (I'm So Unclear!) and Unholy Pink. Prior to those works, McDonald was the drummer/co-founder of the all-female heavy metal band Phantom Blue from its inception in 1987 to its demise in 2001.


Of Irish and Japanese descent, Linda McDonald was inspired to take up instruments after listening to her brother's copy of Iron Maiden's Maiden Japan live EP. While she took up piano, guitar and violin, her self-taught drumming skills stood out the most. Following a short stint with a three-piece female band called Andromeda, McDonald became a founding member of Phantom Blue. And while the band found some success with their self-titled debut album in 1989, the rest of their career was marred by instability with management, record labels and numerous personnel changes. By the late 1990s, McDonald was the only original member of Phantom Blue. Their last recording was the EP Full Blown (1998) before they went their separate ways in 2001.[1]

Shortly after Phantom Blue's demise, McDonald - along with band mate Josephine Soegijanty and ex-Bandit member Sara Marsh - joined vocalist Jenny Warren and bassist Melanie Sisneros to form The Iron Maidens, an all-female tribute band to Iron Maiden. McDonald has remained the original band member since then. As a member of The Iron Maidens, McDonald's stage name is "Nikki McBurrain," an amalgamation of Iron Maiden's former drummer Clive Burr and their current drummer Nicko McBrain.[2] And much like McBrain with his drum kit, McDonald has hers decorated with a Sooty puppet. Her favorite Iron Maiden songs are "Rime of the Ancient Mariner", "Children of the Damned" and "The Prisoner"[3]

In addition to The Iron Maidens, McDonald is a member of the cover bands Crabby Patty (I'm So Unclear!), Unholy Pink and Valley Dolls. She was also the drummer of the now-defunct female Ozzy Osbourne tribute The Little Dolls.

McDonald, along with Maidens bandmate Courtney Cox, joined former Phantom Blue members Kim Nielsen-Parsons, Gigi Hangach and Tina Wood for a reunion at a benefit concert on May 26, 2009 at the Whisky a Go Go in Hollywood, California. The concert was for the benefit of brain research in memory of Phantom Blue co-founder Michelle Meldrum, who died of a cystic growth in her brain on May 21, 2008.[4]

Aside from Clive Burr and Nicko McBrain, McDonald also cites Simon Phillips, John Bonham, Alex Van Halen and Phil Collins among her influences. Her musical preferences vary from Barry Manilow to System of a Down. An avid pet lover, McDonald has a dog, a cat and a parakeet in her home.[3]


Linda on drums with The Iron Maidens

Phantom Blue[edit]

The Iron Maidens[edit]

The Little Dolls[edit]


Equipment endorsers[edit]

Linda McDonald is currently endorsed by Paiste cymbals; Vic Firth drum sticks; Drum Workshop drums, pedals and hardware; Coffin Case and Monster Energy Drink. In the past, she used Tama drums while touring with Phantom Blue.


Linda has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, Guitar World, Metal Edge, Modern Drummer, DRUM! Magazine, Kerrang, Rip, Aardshock, Metal Hammer, L.A. Weekly, L.A. New Times, OC Weekly, Chicago Local Live Magazine, Portland Tribune, Playboy, Hustler, Orange County Register, The National Enquirer, FHM, Maxim, two MTV videos, ABC’s Livin’ Large TV Show, 54321 on Fox Sports Net, two Hard N' Heavy video magazine episodes, Gibson Lifestyle,[6] KCAL-TV's 9 on the Town, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.


  1. ^ "Linda McDonald's Bio". Phantom Blue. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  2. ^ Drum! Magazine No. 132, June 2007
  3. ^ a b "Linda McDonald Profile". WeROCK City. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  4. ^ "The Iron Maidens Forums - Phantom Blue Reunion Show on May 26, 2009". Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  5. ^ "Girls Got Rhythm". All Access Magazine. 2006-08-03. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  6. ^ "Gibson Lifestyle - Meet the World's Only All-Female Iron Maiden Tribute Band". Retrieved 2011-10-22. 

External links[edit]